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B.C. has 1.3M rapid tests in a warehouse, officials confirm after top doctor called it an 'urban myth'


Chalk it up to semantics.

On Tuesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told a news conference it was an “urban myth” that millions of COVID-19 rapid tests were sitting unused in a warehouse somewhere in the province.

Turns out the number isn’t millions, but closer to 1.3 million, or, according to the Ministry of Health, 1,342,150 tests to be precise.

And to confirm, they are indeed sitting in a warehouse.

In a statement, the ministry also indicated it would soon have some 17 million more tests on the way from the supply the federal government announced Wednesday.

Before CTV News received the clarification about rapid test inventory, Mike Klassen with the B.C. Care Providers Association alluded to something not sitting right with rapid test numbers from December provided by Health Canada.

That data, while admittedly dated, showed nearly 2 million tests procured by the province but not used.

“B.C. has a lot of these tests in storage,” Klassen said.

“They do have a shelf life, they eventually expire. So we have to make sure we get to use them,” he added.

Some 100,000 of them have been headed to care homes over the last week, but the rollout for the remaining 1.2 million or so, is far from clear

“(We) will provide an update on what that means for B.C. once we have that information in the coming days,” the ministry's statement said. Top Stories

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